Joy is our personal right. We each have this one amazing, but brief chance to build lives we love. If we don’t deeply believe we deserve happiness, that we deserve abundance, and to live unrestricted, we end up living lives of mediocrity. Happiness runs deeper than money. How we spend our time, where we spend our time, and who we spend our time with are the key ingredients to our happiness or our misery. Because we spend the majority of our time in life at work, it is imperative we love what we do. If we aren’t passionate about what we do, we may make money, but we will also live under clouds of dread, negative pressures and stress which defeat the joys money can bring.
It is our job to figure out who we are, what our talents and strengths are and to nurture those. Desire comes from the inside; it comes from our gut. We must activate and become the choosers of our own destinies and invest ourselves is those topics or fields which most interest us. It is a known fact that we always work the hardest for the things we are most passionate about. If we want to succeed at the higher plateaus, to make the kind of money we want to make, and to live a life we truly love we must commit to pursuing the desires which keep us up at night and wake us up in the morning.
2. Never settle for average.
If we ignore what makes us tick, talk ourselves out of believing we can make a living doing what we love, choose not to follow the path that holds our interest and passion, we will never be great. It is too easy to get comfortable in our careers, even when we love them. When we get comfortable we unconsciously build and accept “ceilings” over our success. We become experts at the familiar. This type of comfort breeds something lazy in us where we show up and do what we’re told or what is expected of us, but do not go beyond. To be above average we must be hunters. We must crave what is new and unexplored, and fearlessly pursue those areas. We must be willing to risk.
3. Choose to excel.
If we want to be great, we must keep in mind effort counts twice as much as genius or talent. We must commit to being a person who wants to be more, do more, and consistently test the limits of our capacity. We must make it a goal to be the most prepared, to stay late whenever necessary, to research consistently, and to invest in our personal growth. The more we learn, the more effective and successful we become. Extra effort increases our knowledge, expertise and self-confidence. The next step up from being an expert is being a leader. Most of us don’t enjoy having a boss over our heads managing what we do. There is a certain freedom that comes, albeit more responsibility, in being at the top. To reach these top tiers, we must always transcend beyond what is expected of us and go the extra mile.
4. Be willing to be uncomfortable.
There is nothing comfortable about achieving. We cannot want success, sit back in fear or entitlement and hope it finds us. There is a lot of information circulating around about manifesting success through the use of gratitude affirmations which, unfortunately, keeps many people stuck waiting for the Success Bus to magically pick them up. While I believe in the power of gratitude and positive affirmation it is not enough to bring us success without subsequent action. Miracles come the moment we take the leap into the uncomfortable, positively coach ourselves through fears and uncertainties, and commit to staying in action until we achieve the goals we set out to accomplish. If we aren’t willing to be uncomfortable, the laws of attraction will fail us. Action is energy in motion. Without action we cannot serve as beacons to attract the things we want.
5. Listen to your heart.
The large majority of people are not going to grant us permission to go out and succeed at the highest levels. In fact, our desires for success, more often than not, may make others feel “less-than.” Other people, to build themselves up, to avoid facing their own fears, often do all they can to put the fear into that what we desire is not possible. If our desires make other people feel inferior or as if they’re not doing enough, not our circus not our monkey. Bottom line, we must listen to our own heart, and give ourselves the permission we need to go out and grab the life we want. We will likely leave people behind. The benefit is this lightens our load. When these losses feel painful, we must ask ourselves what are we really losing? A person who doesn’t want us to succeed to levels we dream for ourselves. Maybe this isn’t a loss, but rather a gain.
Freedom is the reward to come from our hard work. When we’ve worked hard and managed our money well, we get to experience the freedoms we were not able to experience as we were building and developing our careers. We work hard because we are driven to experience living full enriched lives. Who doesn’t want the freedom to do what they want, travel where they want, live where they want, and to experience the joys of these hard-earned luxuries. This isn’t selfish; these are the fruits of our labor. When we have this type of freedom, even though it comes with increased responsibility, we can feel proud that we have created an extraordinary life for ourselves and those we love.
7. Leave your mark.
The most significant way to leave our mark is to be of service to others. Give back, mentor, donate, be kind, inspire and help everyone who is willing to receive it and use it. We must also be mindful to keep a balance, as we don’t want our giving nature to be taken advantage of. It is important to hold an energy that communicates what we expect. When we value who we are, people will feel it. We must invest in those who want to be helped, and leave behind those expecting a free and easy ride. If we are not armed with the proper boundaries, we risk losing our freedoms by getting ourselves tied to situations and people who drain us dry. When we have created a life we love, it is our right to fiercely protect what we have built. At the end of the day, what others see in us is what they will desire to follow, and this is how we leave our mark; we become the model of a human being others feel inspired to emulate.
8. Be kind.
Nothing will take us further in life, bring us more opportunity, joy or happiness than being kind. Being kind should not equate to being a pushover; it equates to being a good human being. The greatest leaders of all time have two things in common; sharing and caring. When we deeply respect who we are, we are not easily threatened by others. We are not insecure living in an unspoken competition with everyone we meet, needing to posture or engage in one-upmanship. Instead, we are open to others, to new opportunities and to see how we can contribute. The true marker of success, is living with a kind, helpful, grateful and humble heart.